Seed Transmission of an Exotic Endophyte in Tall Fescue
Endophyte strains have been identified which may enhance plant growth and resistance to stress but not produce the major alkaloid toxins which impair livestock health and productivity (Fletcher and Easton 1997). Strains identified in exotic germplasm are introduced to adapted grass cultivars by inoculation and seed is taken from infected plants. This seed must be multiplied for at least two more generations for commercial release of the cultivar-endophyte association (Rolston 1993). Efficient transmission of endophyte to seed is essential (Fletcher and Easton 1997). An 85% transmission rate, for example, compounded over three generations, would lead to only 61% infection.
KeywordsTall Fescue Perennial Ryegrass Seed Transmission Endophyte Infection Exotic Germplasm
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